Book CrushesJulia Hart

One of my favorite things about reading is developing crushes on characters. It’s one thing to have a crush on a character in a movie, but it’s quite another to have one on a character from a book. Imagining a character in the way that the author’s words inspire you to is so much more exciting than looking at someone’s actual face. It’s your fantasy and nothing can be better than that. It’s sort of like how you’re so much more scared BEFORE the slasher jumps out from behind a bush. Sort of.

Here are a few of my favorite book crushes from over the years:

#1 Holden Caulfield – Catcher in the Rye

Holden is totally that strange boy who usually cut class, but those few days when he was there and he was sitting in the back, you found it hard to focus your attention on the blackboard at the front of the room. In spite of his childish behavior, there’s something about Salinger’s young misanthrope. Or, maybe it is his childish behavior that makes him so darn charming. He kills me, he really does.

#2 Mercutio – Romeo and Juliet

Juliet can have Romeo – I’m taking Mercutio. He’s witty, he’s cerebral and he’s a little bit dangerous. He’s totally a bookworm with a sword! If only they still made men that way. It’s too bad that the only real man in the play is the first to perish. Still, the fact that he stands up and fights to defend his friend only makes him sexier. Ghosts can be crush-worthy, right?

#3 Stanley Kowalski – A Streetcar Named Desire

Okay, so here’s the exception: If I’m being totally honest, I can’t tell if I’m in love with Stanley Kowalski or Marlon Brando. Marlon Brando as Stanley is the one case of the actual face being better than even the best imagination. He is so intrinsically linked to the image of that character that his face graces the cover of most readily available copies of the play. I dare any woman to try to imagine Stanley and not see Brando. Or imagine a better Stanley to crush on. Go on, I dare you.

#4 Sally Seton – Mrs. Dalloway

There can’t possibly be a man or woman alive who doesn’t fall head over heels for Miss Sally Seton. She runs naked through the halls of her BFF Clarissa’s mansion. She cuts the heads off of flowers and throws them in water just to watch them float. She leaves books out in the rain, she never wants to go to sleep and she’ll kiss you unexpectedly while you’re looking at the stars. She is impossible and irresistible. She is youth incarnate. Virginia Woolf captures first love better than anyone ever through Sally.

#5 John the Savage – Brave New World

In a world full of genetically engineered drones, of course the one real man is going to stand out. John the Savage, who is born outside the Sci-Fi World State, is a total dreamboat. He just wants to hold your hand and talk about Shakespeare. He just wants to love you in spite of the inevitable pain and suffering that will ensue. Plus, after growing up in the wilds of New Mexico, he’s probably one rugged hotcake.

Tell me your favorite Book Crushes in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Julia Hart

  • Laura K. Hattaway

    I love Professor Bhaer from Little Women. And Lupin from Harry Potter. And Ron. And Mr. Weasley… Well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t turn down any of the Weasley men except for maybe Percy. One Type-A per relationship is plenty, thanks.

  • Seemal Kc

    hamlet (oh how i love him!), Wentworth from persuation (something makes him so intense) , sirius black (harry potter, yes) …

  • Jessica Broadbent

    Sam Vimes from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Smart, honourable and funny.

    And Barney Snaith, from The Blue Castle, and Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series, both by Lucy Maud Montgomery. They are both such honourable men, and both with a twinkle in their eye! I love a guy with a twinkle in his eye.

  • Nicole Crane

    I always loved Seymour Glass, he was my favorite of the Glass children (narrowly beating out zooey). Also, Tommy (Never Let Me Go)… even with his fits of rage that kid had so much heart!!

    and I know he’s not fictional but just reading “love is a mixtape” made me fall in love with Rob Sheffield. Plus he’s got all the music cred of Rob from High Fidelity but would make a much better boyfriend!

  • Matthew Meriwether

    From classic lit: Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. From Modern lit: Jasper Black from Incendiary by Chris Cleave.

  • Gabrielle Marion

    Gilbert Blythe a thousand times over! Who wouldn’t fall for a boy who waits and waits for a girl he loved from the moment they net?

  • Jennifer Morris

    Jerricho is hot… but his lies and manipulations would have caused me to drop him down a well somewhere, lol :-) However… we did forget Grieve (Indigo Court series, Yasmine Galenorn). And I forgot Ion (Brush of Darkness, Allison Pang). So many good book men… so little time, lol.

  • Jennifer Morris

    OK… let’s see here… in no particular order, lol… Rhage (Black Dagger Brotherhood, J R Ward), Richard (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, Laurell K Hamilton), Bones (Night Huntress, Jeaniene Frost), Smoky (Sisters of the Otherworld, Yasmine Galenorn), Ryan (Kara Gillian series, Diana Rowland), Jace (The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare), Aragorn (Lord of the Rings, J R R Tolkien), Dimitri (Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead), Rafferty (Darkfire Novels, Deborah Cooke), and yes… I have a wee little book boy crush on Death (Riders of the Apocalypse, Jackie Kessler)… I’m sure I could come up with others if I tried, lol…

    • Shellie Wills

      I can’t believe I forgot about Bones!! AND what about Mr. Jerricho Barrons??

  • Shellie Wills

    Even though he is WAY WAY too young for me…I will admit that I have a crush on Percy Jackson :-D. I also have a crush on Jem from the Infernal Devices series. Let’s see there is also……Miles Halter (Looking for Alaska) Colin Singleton (An Abundance of Katherines) and Quintin Jacobsen (Paper Towns) and Will Greyson (Will,Greyson, Will Greyson) all from the mind of the immensely talented John Green. I too adore Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff. I had actually forgotten about Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables, but yes he is amazing!!

  • MaryPat Devine

    This makes me actually want to read my British Literature summer reading: A Brave New Word.

  • Elizabeth Cooper-Mullin

    without a doubt, Mr. Darcy. has ever a man realized the error of his ways in such a dignified manner? also, oh gilbert blythe. waiting so patiently for anne. and i confess it, harry potter. the boy we all grew up with, who (thanks to jk rowling) became such a brave man.

  • Kyle Davio

    the father from the road; aron & caleb trask from east of eden; dean moriarty from on the road;

    • Megan Younce

      yes! dean moriarty from on the road is my ultimate book crush!

  • Rachael Hayes

    Gatsby, always Gatsby.

  • Kelly Vogel

    Remus Lupin, and Fred and George Weasley from the HP series… Roland from the Book of Lost Things (even if he doesn’t swing my way!) and my all time crush: Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, and not just because he was played by Gregory Peck, haha, he’s intelligent, gentle, kind, and courageous- the right kind of courageous, the kind where you do something even if you know you’re licked before you begin :) AND he’s a good father, love him.

  • Sara Bazinga Vine

    I’ve been in love with Professor Remus Lupin since I read the book when I was 11 :) x

    • Kelly Vogel

      I totally agree! Lupin was my love it went so far that me and my best friend used to pretend that Remus was my boyfriend and Sirius were hers- I will not name ages haha

  • Alyssa Olszewski

    Sherlock Holmes. Even though in real life I don’t like people who are as jaded as he is, and I definitely don’t go for heroine addicts. But he is brilliant, and refreshingly unattached.
    Mr. Darcy. Although I have the same problem–I mix him up with Colin Firth.
    Dmitri Prokofich Razumikhin (Crime and Punishment). He is the epitome of loyalty to a crazy friend.

  • Jackie Spicer

    all of these have been mentioned, but definitely Peter Pan, Dickon (The Secret Garden), Teddy (Little Women), Dexter (This Lullaby), and Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)

  • Hayley Clifford

    J.D. Salinger’s Buddy Glass and his bro Zooey.

    Also Perry Parkhurst from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “The Camel’s Back.” He gets drunk, puts on a camel costume, and goes to a string of parties including one his ex fiance is at. If you haven’t read it, please do. It’s hilarious,

  • Ulf Skei

    Ophelia, Shakespeare may be slightly dated, but the first time I read Hamlet I was forever lost…

  • Laura Spaulding

    My very first book crush was Dillon from A Secret Garden. Of course then there was Mr. Darcy and Zooey Glass and Levin from Anna Karrenina and most recently Mikael Blomkvist from The Millenium Trilogy.

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